Friday, May 13, 2016

Patti Burks: Faculty Issues, Concerns, and Solutions regarding the DISD Collegiate Academies

EDITOR'S NOTE: Patti Burks, Brookhaven College professor of computer technology, and faculty representative on the DISD Early Collegiate Academies Steering Committee, drafted this document to express faculty issues and concerns - and solutions - regarding the DISD Collegiate Academies. The Faculty Council generally supports these statements. Statements in Red are updates as of May 18, 2016.

Based on past experience working with the Early College High Schools and dual credit programs, the DCCCD faculty identified the following issues and concerns.

These items need be addressed and documented in writing in an operating agreement with DISD to ensure that all parties involved currently as well as those who will be involved in the future are working under the same set of expectations and guidelines and to ensure the success of the program and the students in the academies.

Response: Operational guidelines will be developed and presented as a working draft to the June 16th joint DCCCD/Dallas ISD Steering Committee. 

For courses that will be taught by DCCCD faculty (full-time or adjunct), course scheduling should match the standard college schedule and should be consistent throughout the semester. This will enable college instructors to teach multiple courses. 

Response:  The eight Dallas ISD Collegiate Academies will follow a consistent semester schedule that aligns with the standard college schedule to the extent possible.  The 9th grade dual credit (college) courses will be scheduled for 90 minutes, M/W or T/R for 48 or less contact hours and M, T, W, and R for classes with 96 or more contact hours.  The days and times of the courses will be negotiated by the College and Collegiate Academy representatives.

The high school will be responsible for coverage of the high school class meetings that are outside of the standard college schedule including days before or after the college semester start and end dates as well as days where course meeting times are changed due to testing, assemblies or other high school priorities.

Response:  Dallas ISD understands and accepts responsibility for coverage of the high school class meetings that are outside of the standard college schedule.

College faculty teaching high school courses should be informed of any scheduling issues or interruptions prior to the beginning of the semester.

Response:  Dallas ISD Executive Directors and Collegiate Academy Principals and DCCCD College administrators are sharing academic calendars, assessment/event schedules and planning in advance how to address differences between the DCCCD academic calendar and the Dallas ISD high school calendar. 

The high school should provide the college with the following at least 3 months prior to the start of the semester:
o   High school faculty requiring credentialing
o   Courses where a college instructor is needed
o   High school course schedules including days and times 

Response:  DCCCD College representatives were notified at the May 12 joint DCCCD/Dallas ISD Collegiate Academies Joint Steering Committee meeting of the courses and projected number of sections that would need to be scheduled.  No high school faculty are currently credentialed to teach these courses, so the Colleges will identify credentialed faculty to teach the Fall courses at the high school campuses. 

Classroom Management 
Many college faculty have experience teaching adult learners only and no experience teaching minors. Professional development should be made available to assist instructors teaching high school cohorts for the first time to assist with legal, disciplinary and classroom management concerns. This applies to courses taught at either the high school of the college campus.

Response:  Orientation and professional development for the faculty who are assigned to the 9th grade dual credit (college) courses at the Dallas ISD Collegiate Academies will be developed by DCCCD faculty.  Ideas for topics and content can be sent to Patti Burks and Ginnette Serrano-Correa. 

The role of the college faculty teaching high school courses is to provide instruction in the subject matter and not to provide discipline. A clear and consistent code of conduct and disciplinary actions needs to be developed and understood by faculty, school administration and students. Support for college faculty in disciplinary matters should be available and clearly documented.

Response:  Dual credit students must follow the same guidelines as other DCCCD College students, including following the same curriculum, syllabus, course rigor, attendance expectations and classroom behavior.  Reference to the DCCCD College Code of Student Conduct and its enforcement will be included in the Operational Guidelines.

Additional reporting, requirements and procedures required by the high school (attendance, failing grades, periodic grading reports, etc.) that are not standard for college instruction must be clearly identified and provided to the faculty 1 month prior to the beginning of the semester. 

Response:  High school requirements that need to be conveyed to college instructors will be included in the Operational Guidelines and within the orientation and professional development of the assigned faculty

The college curriculum will be taught in all dual credit courses.

Response:  A dual credit course is a college course, equivalent with respect to curriculum, student learning outcomes, materials, instruction, and method/rigor of student evaluation, no matter where it is offered.

Course textbooks and software have been an issue in the past with some dual credit courses. Any issues or restrictions on course textbooks or software (cost, adoption cycle, equipment, etc.) must be identified and resolved 3 months before the start of the semester.

Response:  Fall, 2016 9th grade courses and estimated textbook costs were conveyed to the DCCCD Colleges and Dallas ISD personnel on 5/13/16.  The orders will by placed by Dallas ISD as soon as the College administrators and faculty confirm the selected textbooks and software. 

Courses in subjects that require STAAR testing may also present problems in terms of curriculum. In some cases the college curriculum may not cover all of the content required for the STAAR exam. 

Discrepancies in the college and high school curriculum need to be identified prior to the scheduling of any STAAR related dual credit courses. The high school will be responsible for devising a plan to provide any supplemental instruction that will be required for students outside of the regular college curriculum.


Many of these issues need to be resolved and documented before the start of the Fall 2016 semester. A few of them may be deferred until next year – such as the STAAR curriculum issue since those courses will not be scheduled for the 2016-2017 school year.


*Response:  The above items have been shared with Executive Director Usamah Rodgers, who will be taking a leadership role with planning for the Dallas ISD Collegiate Academies, who agrees that these are reasonable expectations that will be addressed in joint planning meetings. 

The DCCCD faculty believe that these are critical issues and that formal documentation and distribution among the high school and college faculty and administration is vital.

The DCCCD/Dallas ISD Collegiate Academies Steering Committee agrees and supports this documentation and distribution. 

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